We all know how it goes, England qualify for a major tournament, and our optimism goes through the roof. Talk of winning competitions or even progressing past the quarter-finals (a familiar stumbling block) becomes rife, and fans are let down when we fail to make it far into a competition.

Not since Euro 1996 have England managed to make it past the quarter-finals of a major tournament. Considering the "golden generation" has come and gone, this seems to be a major disappointment. Beckham, Neville, Scholes and Owen are just a few of the names that have failed to replicate their club form at a national level.

Perhaps this can be attributed to the failure of an "English" identity to our football, or poor management (Graham Taylor and Kevin Keegan spring to mind). Many fans are still left clinging onto the memories of that night in Munich, where we were left in dreamland. Or perhaps Beckham's memorable goal against Greece to drag us into the 2002 World Cup.

"Let's first qualify, then get the youngsters experiencing a tournament in Brazil so that in two years' time we can have a real go at the Euros."

A European team has never won the World Cup in South America, with Holland finishing runners-up to Argentina in 1978. Hoddle's idea seems like a good one in this regard, and he has assessed Spain's chances of success at a seemingly low 35 per cent, especially considering their current form. 

The idea itself is backed further when you consider the English talent bursting onto the scene.

Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw and Ravel Morrison are just a few of the names tipped to become big players, and it's pivotal that we look to replace the "old guard" sooner rather than later. Lampard, Gerrard and Cole may feel that the World Cup is their last chance at glory, but would it be better to let the younger players have a go?

Of course firstly we actually have to qualify, but with two home games remaining I am very optimistic about our chances of qualification. It would be absurd to think of a 2014 World Cup without England in it, especially considering the calibre of teams that are in our group.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has also written off our chances of winning in Brazil, but has set his sights on 2022 success - after setting up a commission to improve the state of the English game and quality of our national players. Hoddle believes that we can look a little closer to the present than that.

"I know Greg has said he wants England to win in 2022, but I think we can bring that forward.
"I would hope to say we could expect to get some success a little bit earlier than that."

It's a bold statement to make, and one that may become more unrealistic in the next few years. But, if talent can be nurtured in the right way, and players hit form going into a major tournament, we may be talking about a realistic target set by Hoddle.

 

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Topics:
#World Cup
#Football
#England Football